So it’s pretty well known that Trump has a different approach to global politics than Obama. But do we really know the details? Check out what the Afghan Ambassador to the United States has to say about it. It may surprise you.
Enter the current Afghan Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Hamdullah Mohib. Friday night, Mohib hosted a dinner at his residence for Gold Star wives, the wives of American soldiers who gave their lives fighting in his home country. This reporter was invited to attend and report on the events of the evening. The ambassador graciously received approximately one dozen Gold Star wives and members of the military community at his residence.
Over the course of the evening, Dr. Mohib led a vibrant, gracious conversation about the struggles of his home country and displayed deep appreciation to the family members of the Americans lost on its soil. The ambassador invited questions from the group after a rich, Afghan dinner, served in an ornate, chandelier lit ballroom. Specifically, Dr. Mohib wondered how his post could better serve those in the military community who gave so much for his country.
During this Q and A, the ambassador was asked about the current American administration and how the people of Afghanistan viewed President Trump. His answer stunned those listening, not only for its candor but also for its rare insight into how the president approaches foreign policy. His full response to the question:
“I’ve personally met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago and the president has had two phone conversations with President Ghani [The president of Afghanistan]. One call was after he won the election and one after [Trump] became president. Before the calls, we were advised to keep conversations short because, we were told, Trump will not be interested in the details of the call and does not have a long attention span, so it would be pointless to have a long call.
However, we were pleasantly surprised at how much time President Trump spent asking very informed questions. The first time the presidents spoke, the questions Trump asked impressed us. “How can you win in this fight [against terrorism]?” he asked. “What do you need to become financially independent?” and “How can American business invest in Afghanistan? How can we develop businesses and mining in your country?”
Trump would listen intently after each question, often asking follow-ups. Trump’s second call with our president was even longer than the first. Asking these types of questions for our country is something the Obama administration never did. The Obama administration was the most academic administration we have ever had to deal with but the Trump administration has been the most thoughtful and intelligent.
Trump continually asked “How can you win? What does Afghanistan need to win?” in reference to our fight with terrorism. Trump wants to win. Sincerely. All the Obama administration wanted to do was not lose.
The Obama administration was hesitant with us. The enemy could sense that. When the Obama administration announced its plans to pull troops out of the region, they announced the exact date they would do it. All our enemies had to do was wait [Obama] out. They knew the date they had to hang on until — which gave them the will to fight. They used that time to recruit and build up resources.
To bring real reform, we must be able to defeat enemies outside our country and inside. We must overthrow the Afghan warlords who are profiteering off the war. Every time we tried to remove one of them from power, [Secretary John] Kerry would say “no” because it would potentially make it unstable and require more troops be brought in. The entire Obama administration was too cautious, but Kerry was the most cautious. Perhaps the Obama administration was fatigued by the time we assumed power. [President Ghani assumed power in September of 2014.] But Trump is very different from Obama in this way.
This is good, for the future of Afghanistan.”